Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

4.9 /5
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Based on over 1000 Verified Reviews.


High on a kopje in the wild northern part of South Africa, as if set there by Mother Nature herself, lies the Simbavati Hillside Lodge. Here, under the limitless sky, eight tents – each with their own deck and en suite tented bathroom – allow a private safari of your own.

There are no fences between the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and the vast Kruger National Park, giving game more than 20 000km² to roam freely. This is Big 5 country and, with your guide and Shangaan tracker, a stay at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge almost guarantees you will see them all. Keep your eyes peeled for the rarer wild dogs and cheetahs, too.

After your morning game drive, slip into the infinity pool, with its views all the way to the foothills of the Drakensberg; then, as the sun reaches its zenith opt for a well-earned siesta or catch up with fellow travellers in the 360° bar or lounge. Later, when the afternoon cools, follow your tracker on foot as the animals come out of the shadows and drink their fill before nightfall.


  • Specially adapted photographic safari vehicles
  • No fences between Timbavati & Kruger
  • Outdoor rain showers
  • Infinity pool with views to the Drakensberg


  • Game drives
  • High tea on offer
  • Night drives
  • Sundowners
  • Spa treatments


Luxury Tented Suite

It is difficult to imagine a better place to sleep. Simbavati Hilltop Lodge boasts eight individual pavilion-style luxury tents, arranged to create a village feel. Each suite has two individual tents – one for the main bedroom and one for the bathroom. The bathrooms each have bath tubs, and the two tents are linked by a passage that can be opened up on one side, allowing for an indoor or outdoor shower. But the placement of the tents has guaranteed your privacy, ensuring a tranquil and intimate stay. Steep stairs lead to some of the tents, placed to make the most of the views.


Shangaan trackers expertly direct you to the best game viewing but if you prefer a day of relaxation, you can watch the animals wander down to the Nhlaralumi River from your sun lounger on the deck. The infinity swimming pool, covered outdoor poolside lounge and 360° bar offer every opportunity for game viewing from the lodge's vantage point on the hill. In the lounge, play a board game or read a book. There is Wi-Fi but limited cellphone reception; this is truly downtime and perfect for a much-needed ‘digital detox’.

All the extras are available, including plenty of power points to charge your camera, air conditioning and heating. A special feature is the adapted photographic vehicles, with four swivel seats, camera mountings and low sides for maximum photographic opportunities, with camera equipment for hire at the lodge.


Plentiful, delicious food is served on the deck. Along with the lounge and pool areas, the dining deck was designed with a breath-taking view out across the bush and the river bed, making meals another opportunity for game viewing. Dinner of African-inspired cuisine is served on the deck or around the fire in the open-air boma and you can eat your traditional barbeque – known as a ‘braai’– under the myriad stars. Lunch is a la carte or chef's specials, and high tea comprises freshly baked savoury and sweet treats.

General facilities

  • Boma
  • Swimming Pool
  • Private balcony or deck
  • Bar
  • Curio or Gift shop


Select your preferred currency below and view rates over specific seasons.

Special Offer


Valid for Travel

  • 2023-01-09 - 2023-12-20


Save 50%

Stay 3 nights or more and one partner pays only 50%.

All inclusions

Accommodation in Luxury Suite Fully Inclusive

Marriage certificate from last 6 months must be presented at time of booking.

Includes a bottle of wine on arrival in room.

Not valid over festive period(21 Dec-07 Jan).

Validity: 09 Jan - 20 Dec 2023.

Standard Terms & Conditions apply.

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Dates Board Price
2023-02-01 — 2024-01-07 Fully Inclusive Plus (All Meals, Selected Beverages, Selected Extras) $620
2024-01-08 — 2025-01-05 Fully Inclusive Plus (All Meals, Selected Beverages, Selected Extras) $670

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.
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Traveller Reviews

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Shane Obert-Thorn

This place was so nice, romantic and the food was awesome. Great chef. Our safaris were so much fun. Our guide Colbert was so awesome. I highly recommend to have people ask for him. The other group was telling us how they wish they had him because he had so much passion for his job.
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Jennifer Christensen

My wife and I stayed three amazing, soul-filling nights at Simbavati. We recommend it without qualification. Our transfer from the airport was a good indication of what was ahead for our three-night stay. Our driver, Nicholas, perfectly balanced gett ing us to the lodge in time for lunch while giving us time to ogle and photograph the giraffe, warthog and zebra we saw on the way. We were warmly greeted at the lodge by Itu, with her bright smile and uplifting personality. She showed us to our luxury tent built on an elevated deck which was thoughtfully built into the landscape. The deck overlooks a dry riverbed where we had daily wildlife sightings. There are only eight of these tents at the Hilltop which makes for an intimate experience. Lezel and Derick, our guide and tracker, were fantastic and have an infectious love of the bush. They really cared about our experience and were extremely attentive to our needs. On every drive we saw at least one of the Big 5. Our group had a special interest in seeing a rhino, and the search for a rhino became an obsession for Lezel. The suspense and then the thrill of finding a momma rhino with her baby was amazing. There are so many other memorable moments from the drives that we will cherish for a long time to come. Many thanks to Pierre for generously resolving an issue I had with renting a camera lens through a third party. Although the issue had nothing to do with the lodge, Pierre is the one who found a quick solution. He also knew the first name of all the guests and sincerely wanted each and every guest to have a magical experience. And a final shout out to Aubrey, our butler, and the kitchen. The food was consistently delicious and Aubrey quickly learned our preferences.
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Why travel with us

  • Independent experts since 1998
  • Our best price promise
  • Full service, flights included
  • Complete financial protection
  • 24/7 on-safari support
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